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road rules

2004-03-19 - 10:35 a.m.

Heading up to New Jersey today for a bat mitzvah, and I've already gone into my road-trip frenzy of We Must Get On the Road NOW! Every ten minutes I call R, reminding him to pack my razor and my three various lotions and other sundries. Each call ends with me frantically telling him that We Have to Get on the Road as soon as I get home.

I'm the type of girl who used to get up at 6 am and be on the road by 6:15. The morning of the trip would see my car completely packed except for a small toiletry kit. Basically I'd wake up, possibly grab a shower, throw my clothes on, and head out the door.

My husband claims he too is like this. But honestly, in almost 7 years together, I've seen this happen once--when we drove across country. Normally he has a List of Stuff which can only be accomplished the morning of the trip. We often seem to get on the road an hour or so after I'd really like to. I'm hoping to be on the freeway by 12:45 today. I'm expecting traffic at the other end due to all the snow they got over the past couple days. Supposedly this drive is only supposed to take us 4.5 hours. I can see it easily stretching into a 6 hour drive. The reason I'm turning into a Road Nazi is because I really don't want it turning into an 8 hour drive, but I can see it happening. 8 hours is far too long to drive to attend a second cousin's bat mitzvah.

It's not that I don't like long car trips. Moving across the country averaged 12 hours in the car. Going home from college was routinely ten hours, and I loved that drive. In fact, I loved it most when I was alone. It was a great drive, all the way up the California coast. I knew exactly how to time it so I never encountered traffic. Because it's sitting in traffic that I can't stand. That sense of wasted time, of knowing how much close you could be to your destination, if only you weren't trapped going 10 miles an hour for the next hour. It's absolutely maddening. And nine times out of ten it can be avoided by timing one's departure to avoid rush hour near any major city. And that, to come full circle, is why I get so nuts about leaving On Time.


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